The Gambia yesterday said Aung San Suu Kyi’s “silence” over allegations of sexual violence and rape carried out against Rohingya people “says far more than” her words, a day after the Nobel peace laureate defended Myanmar against genocide charges at the UN’s top court.
Prof Philippe Sands QC told the court: “Not a word [has been said by Aung San Suu Kyi] about the women and girls of Myanmar who have been subjected to these awful serial violations. Madame Agent [her status in court], your silence says far more than your words.”
Myanmar has not disputed at the ICJ hearing reports that 392 villages were destroyed in military clearance operations, or commented on widespread allegations of organized sexual violence and rape, the court was also told.
Sands was speaking for the Gambia, which has brought the charge that Myanmar’s military carried out mass murder, rape, and destruction of Rohingya Muslim communities. Yesterday was the last day of the three-day hearing at the top UN court.
The African country alleges there have been “extrajudicial killings… sexual violence, burning of homes and destruction of livestock… calculated to bring about a destruction of the Rohingya group in whole or in part.”
“The word ‘rape’ did not once pass the lips of the agent,” added Sands, as Suu Kyi sat impassively in the courtroom, wearing traditional Burmese dress and flowers in her hair, reports The Guardian.
Later in her closing arguments at the hearing, she urged the UN judges to throw out the genocide case against Myanmar, warning it risked reigniting the crisis that forced nearly three-quarters of a million Rohingya Muslims from their homes.
Suu Kyi also cautioned that allowing The Gambia’s case against Myanmar to go ahead could “undermine reconciliation”, reports AFP.
The de facto civilian leader even showed pictures of a football match recently played in the area affected by the violence in 2017 as evidence that was peace was returning